By Warrant Officer Ishola Rukayat Ajoke
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is currently accepting applications from outstanding African entrepreneurs who have start-ups or business ideas with high growth potential for the 4th cycle of its entrepreneurship development programme. The application portal opened January 2018 at www.tonyelumelufoundation.org and closes 1 ST March 2018.
The TEF entrepreneurship programme, now in its fourth year is the founder’s 10 year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs; creating 1,000,000 jobs, changing the face of business in Africa and creating considerable wealth.
According to a press release made available to journalists by the foundation, this year’s programme provided critical tools for business success, including 12 weeks of intensive online training which guides creating and managing a business, world-class mentors to guide the entrepreneurs during the early transformation stages of the business and a
nonrefundable $5,000 in seed capital to prove the concept, plus access to further funding.
The Foundation asserted that “to be eligible for selection and funding, the idea must be very innovative, the business must be based in Africa, must be for profit, must be 0-3 years old and applicants must be at least 18 years old and legal resident or citizen of an African country.”
“A total of 1,000 entrepreneurs will be selected based on the viability ofn their idea, including market opportunity, financial understanding, scalability, leadership and entrepreneurial skills demonstrated in the application.”
According to the founder, Tony Elumelu, Chairman Heirs Holding and Founder the United Bank for Africa, “through this business development programme, we provide training, mentoring, funding and network access to catalyze growth in Africa most under-valued resource, it’s entrepreneurs”.
He said “As an entrepreneur myself, I understand what it felt like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a big break, to look forward to enjoying some luck,” stressing that therefore “when we launched the TEF programme and committed $100 million to empowering Africa’s entrepreneurs, I knew we will create impact, but I never imagined it would be impact of this magnitude.”
“We have unleashed a movement of African entrepreneurs, a force so strong, so inspiring that I am confident that they will collectively transform Africa. We need Africa’s best and brightest entrepreneurs to come learn, grow their businesses and build our continent.”
The CEO of the foundation, Parminder Vir, added that: “We encourage women, French and Portuguese speakers to apply. Our 3, 000 alumni are already growing their businesses and improving lives. If you have a transformational business or an idea, we have opportunity for you.”
Established in 2010, TEF is the philanthropy in Nigeria championing entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs as catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.
It is therefore worthwhile, for Barrack Youths of the Base Youth Entrepreneurship Training and Agriculture Scheme of the Nigerian Air Force, for youths who received training by the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, for retiring and retired members of the Nigerian armed forces and sundry others to key into this laudable initiative to access
start-ups for the growth of their entrepreneurship initiatives.